Sunday, December 2, 2012

Macbeth New Paltz Production

Prior to seeing the play, I had set my expectations fairly high. After having class in the Mckenna Theater, I was intrigued by the Professor and was interested in seeing how his vision of the play would pan out on stage. Perhaps my expectations were set too high, but unfortunately I was a bit disappointed. I am definitely a tough critic when it comes to productions and movies and things, so that definitely was a factor.
Firstly, I would not go as far as to say that I thought the acting was bad, but I didn't by any means think it was great either. I didn't feel any real connection with the characters. The actress who played Macbeth, though, I thought did very well. She really seemed to take on the roll and her acting was believable. I could feel the emotion and understand what was going on not only through her words but through her body language and expressions as well. I thought the actor who played Macbeth did a good job, but it was hard for me to connect with him as Macbeth because I actually recognized him as a classmate from another english class about a year ago. It was a small class of only nine students or so, and he was one of those classmates you remember. He just stands out in my mind. Throughout the play, I had a hard time separating him from the classmate to the actor. Perhaps this fact made my whole opinion of the play a little unfair and biased.
Aside from the acting, the overall production did not seem to do the play justice, in my opinion. I didn't dislike it entirely, but there were a few things that bothered me. I noticed that they did remove a few aspects of the play, but that is reasonable. The main thing that I didn't like was the absence of the witches. This semester was my first time reading Macbeth, but for me, the witches are just absolutely central to the play. The idea of these random characters being suddenly possessed just did not do it for me. I felt like there were so many instances where someone would suddenly be possessed for one line and I was just so confused. The absence of the witches made the play seem very untrue to the play. I understand that not all productions of plays are going to be exactly the same and each one is an interpretation by someone but I just did not connect with this one.
The last thing I did not like was the fact that there were so few actors. The characters that died in the beginning of the play ended up coming back as different characters later on and I found that to be very distracting. I wish they had enough actors to make sure that no faces would be "recycled" in a sense. It happened a few times, but the one that bothered me the most was the fact that the actor who played King Duncan returned as a soldier in the end. I feel that Duncan is just too strong of a character to return as a soldier. The actor's importance as Duncan made his face especially recognizable so when he returned as someone else, I found myself disappointed.
Overall, I am glad that I saw the  production because I believe it is important to see different interpretations. It helps me to better understand my own interpretation of the play a lot more clearly. Although I had a few complaints, overall I would say that the cast and production team did well and created a worthy show.

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